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Full text of "Verdict On India"

POMP  AND  CIRCUMSTANCE                               ' -29"
Admittedly, we then proceeded to do a little discreet stage*
management, but it was always in the direction of making the
theatre more of a people's theatre and less of a command per-
formance. If one prince was overplaying this role and shouting-
down his neighbours, we cut his part. When the play became too
obscene? as it sometimes did, we. assumed the office of censor. To
drop the theatrical metaphor, we kept the princes in order, laid
down certain elementary principles of justice and decency to
which, we obliged them to conform, required them to keep within
their own boundaries and desist from aggression. With these-
limitations, they are still confirmed in their ancient privileges,,
still ruling over wide territories and teeming peoples., and in most
cases, ruling pretty well.
Now if the critic tells us that the British Viceroy, who is the.
overlord of these glittering personages, .would be more suitably
housed in a small villa, we are obliged to suggest that he is talking
through his hat. The prospect of the Nizam of Hyderabad, the^
richest man in the world, being ushered into a stuffy hall by a
rumbling house-parlourmaid is really lacking in attistic fitness.
It is also decidedly uii-Indian.
However, this argument has already stretched to inordinate
lengths. If the reader has not already been convinced, we must
agree to differ.. To console him, before we turn out the light, we
will point to to-morrow's engagement list. It bears on it the name-
of Doctor Ambedkar.
And Doctor Ambedkar, after all this pomp and circumstance,.
Is likely to prove, a very different cup, of-tea*